Alcona County has high rates of diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses and hardly a doctor in sight. Residents here are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, when it hits.
Many small or rural hospitals were already struggling before COVID-19 forced them to halt the elective procedures that help pay the bills. They are looking largely toward the government to help them recover lost revenue.
Already gearing for a recession, Michigan faces billions of dollars in lost wages and tens of thousands of job cuts. Using maps and charts, Bridge explains how the impact of the coronavirus shutdown will vary widely by industry and maps.
In one sparsely populated, vast Northern Michigan school district, school buses are delivering meals to students who otherwise might go hungry amid a three-week shutdown of the state’s schools.
The U.S. International Trade Commission flatly rejected claims that Turkish imports hurt domestic dried tart cherry processors. But Michigan’s cherry industry has a new line of attack against imports.
Beset with common but daunting problems, leaders in rural Michigan implore Michigan’s Democratic governor to create a Cabinet-level post to address their concerns.
Once a frontier town dominated by agriculture, Morenci now finds itself on a new frontier, with the scent of pot wafting through its streets. Despite reluctance from “conservative farm folks,” most support the financial boost the industry has brought.
An Amish community, with help from the ACLU, argues that Lenawee County is violating its religious freedom by demanding it stop using outhouses and spreading human waste in fields. Local residents are backing the Amish.
A GOP legislative package would remove barriers to small rural hospitals expanding or offering some of the same services as larger hospitals in the region. Both sides say their vision would lower costs.
Even middle-income workers are now priced out of safe, affordable homes in Michigan’s resort region. Housing stock has declined for all but the affluent, leaving high school students to fill the construction breach.
In much of rural Michigan, and in Detroit, fewer than 20 percent of residents get flu shots, even though the vaccine makes it far less likely that people will die or get seriously ill from the virus.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spared a psychiatric hospital whose closure would have devastated the Thumb. But long waiting lists persist statewide, and the hospital’s problems remain.
Superintendents in some of Michigan’s most isolated districts blame Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Repubican leaders for a budget fight that they say threatens their future and treats students like political pawns.
Law enforcement raises alarms after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer axed $13 million for a state grant program that has helped county sheriffs hire road patrol deputies since 1978.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used her line-item veto power to cut several GOP budget priorities in hopes of restarting negotiations. Rural Michigan is among the hardest hit.
Small rural hospitals are getting squeezed by competition and market forces, forcing painful consolidations, sales and closures. Nationwide, 113 rural hospitals have closed in less than a decade.
Rising fiscal challenges force independent Michigan hospitals to seek alliances. They can save the hospitals, but some critics ask at what cost.
For Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, in a sparsely populated former mining region in remote Michigan, merger points to a brighter future.
A U.S. Commerce Department ruling is likely to result in large duties imposed on Turkish dried cherries, which Michigan growers accuse of being illegally dumped on the U.S. market.